December 30, 2006

Bringing Virtual Art into the Real World

This morning I found my way to a site called Fabjectory. They provide a service which makes real life 3D copies of SL avatars using a 3D printing process, using equipment made by ZCorp. The rapid prototyping machine creates objects by laying down .040" layers of plaster power covered with colored glue.

Making avatars is their main marketing point, but they also make real world versions of other things. They don't say how the data is transfered but I'm guessing they use a scripted tool inworld to read the geometry, location and properties of the prims then import that information into their own CAD software.

I saw a variety of these 3D printers at a trade show this summer. In addition to plaster, they also make objects using clear and colored plastic, and a bronze/stainless steel powder composite. The cost of these machines start at a few thousand dollars, which is the only reason I don't have one. Below is a picture of two art objects made using powdered metal. The one in the foreground contains nested copies of itself, like Russian Dolls. This was not assembled but made complete in one process.

The intended purpose of these printers is to make quick prototype parts for research and development of products, but as the cost has come down and the quality gone up they have begun to be used by artists to make finished items. The Bathsheba Sculpture website has some good expamples of this. Also this article, A Cabinet of Mathematical Curiosities.

December 29, 2006

Ars Virtua

written by
Plurabelle Posthorn

Ok, let me tell you why I desided to be born in to Second Life (just recently). It was this post on a favouritewebsite of mine: we-make-money-not-art, among other things also about an exhibition at the SLgallery Ars Virtua (SLurl here): "13 most beautiful avatars". The exhibition is still on in Second Life at Ars Virtua and was on in real life at The Italian Academy for Advanced Studies in America at Columbia University, New York, from 30. nov.06 to 19.des.06. I HAD TO SEE IT…an exhibition crossing the borders of virtual and real life (not for the first time of course, but it made ME make myself a SL-account). Or was it just that for me to see the exhibition, because I’m located on the other side of the planet, I had to go to Second Life to see it?
Well, here I am, newborn, admiring the work "Janai Jarrico" by the artists Eva and Franco Mattes.

Well, a new work is being installed rigth now at the Ars Virtua gallery by artist JC Fremont and Rain Coalcliff. It opens on the 5th of Januray, so be there! I had a peek. It’s a marvellous piece of artwork; the startingpoint is a map of the earth with signposts (pointing to RLplaces around the world, focusing on borders). You click on the signposts to teleport to other locations in SL where you find maps on floating floors and then 360 0 photographs of that earthly location you "teleported" to, there are photographs of those places with its people inside spheres, and if you use you Alt-button you can be totally surrounded by that location. Makes me wanna cry, that’s how beautifull I found it! And it’s not even properly installed yet.

View from above.

Almost inside one of the spheres.
See you at the opening? And will Gazira Babeli , the opening-terrorist, be there? (Sure, Ars Virtua has asked her to come.... )

Another artist that is showned at the Ars Virtua is AngryBeth Shortbread. Two of her works is showned there right now, but if you really want to go in to her work, full extend, which I think you should, then go to The Port (The Port 251, 79, 26), find the teleport to The Pencil Factory gallery of Interactive and Phonic Art (The Port 32, 72, 26 ) where she shows a lot of her works like The DNA sequencer, The Email Invaders, the Cloud-Mapper and so on. Be sure to read the INFOsigns, because the pieces are all interactive, so to fully enjoy them you need to know how they work! I also found a lot of help in going to her blog: (and website). There you can find videos of her work. Makes it easier for you to try them afterwards. Enoying art in Second Life is a complex thing. Get used to it!
And be sure to explore The Port once you are there. (Tell me if you were able to find Jeff Koons and On Kawara...)

December 25, 2006

Strange Statues from Around the World

Merry Christmas all! This isn't about virtual art but I'm hoping it will inspire someone.

It would be more proper to call it "Strange Sculpture from Around the World" as a statue is a dead politician. Anyway, its a random collection of photos of unusual and often whimsical sculpture which is a delight to see. It's the kind of thing I like to look at when I feel that my thinking is becoming too conventional.

- Rezago

December 21, 2006

OMFG, You Have To See This! 22 Dec 2006 edition

This issue's column: Clangers Inventions (134,123,41)

Those of us who have gone native in Second Life know that there is one undeniable fact about the Grid: it's huge. So huge, in fact, that even the most experienced players may feel lost when trying to find new places to go and new things to do. I've found that one of the most effective ways of randomly exploring the juiciest parts of the immensity that is the Grid is this:
  1. Find an interesting object
  2. right-click on the object
  3. select Edit in the pie menu
  4. wait for the Creator information to load
  5. push Profile next to the creator's name, and
  6. check out the Creator's Picks page.
People who make cool things often have cool locations in their Picks, and at those cool locations you'll find even more cool things to repeat the process on.

Most recently, a Picks trail led me to the astounding island of Clangers Inventions:

Clangers Inventions (134,123,41)

(Turns out that it's wildly famous, but everyone's got to hear about it for the first time somewhere...)

The main thing to say about it is, natch, that omfg you have to see this! It's a disciplined riot of form and color and design and strangeness, an acidic landscape dotted, covered, rife with breathtakingly amazing things. Dominated by a giant swirling sort of mushroomish thing with a moving spiral stem, the island also holds (as you'll find after you get over the initial shock and start wandering around) dozens of fascinating small things, any of which would dominate the aesthetic of any normal location, and all of which here combine into somethat that, babe, you've just got to see.

Things to do at Clangers Invention:
  • Find the eight-seat conference and discussion area (on top of a tower, open to the sky, with a globe lamp illuminating it). Have your group's next meeting there (that'd be a trip!).
  • Find one of the flexible windsock-creatures that circle endlessly around the edges of the landmass. Alt-click on it, and let it carry your viewpoint gracefully around the strangeness.
  • Find the giant flying hotdog that's buried under the island. If it's still here.
  • Find at least two amazing things that I haven't mentioned.
  • Send at least two friends a landmark, and tell them that omfg, they have to see it!
For further reading, note that Clangers Inventions has been written up in (at least) SlateNight Magazine, here.

Dale Innis

Featured Artist- Cheen Pitney

written by Cyanide Seelowe

When I first saw Cheen Pitney's "Glass Blower" sculpture, I found myself entranced not only by the work, but by the effect it was having on me. The dark, humanesque form stands as gracefully and passionately as a musician finding his groove- the only difference between them, it seems, is the warm glow of molten glass writhing delicately at the end of the figure's instrument. The flowing asymmetry of this piece caused me to become deeply introspective, which I find to be an amazing feat. Not only is this an image of a piece of art making art of its own, but it is a virtual object that resides in virtual space- I wonder, then, if the feelings that it evokes are virtual as well? Regardless, I found myself compelled to contact Cheen personally and tell him how I felt about his Glass Blower and the effect that it had on me. By doing this, I was allowed a deeper look into his body of work, and found some pleasant surprises along the way.

After seeing the simplicity of Cheen's Glass Blower, I had foolishly assumed that the majority of his work would be simplistic in nature- in fact, it is quite the contrary. He is actually very enthusiastic when it comes to using prims, and he's not afraid to pile them on if they suit his vision. The result is massively impressive, incredibly articulate sculptures that will command any space that they find themselves in.

Because of the detail and visual movement that is trademark of Cheen's work, he has been commissioned to do a number of sculptures that can be found throughout Second Life, one of the most prominent being a massive sculpture of Icarus (In Roman mythology, a man who constructed wings held together by wax. Consequently, when he flew too close to the sun, he ended up falling into the sea.). You can find this sculpture majestically watching over the land in a Sim by the same name. Additionally, you can find Cheen's work in his gallery, which is playfully dubbed Peacefools.


Icarus (82, 169, 34)
FurNation Vista (216, 149, 24)

December 17, 2006

Group Minutes- 12/17/06

Hey guys!

For those of you who don't want to crawl out of bed on Sunday mornings (or evenings... or afternoons...) i've decided to post the meeting minutes here so everyone can get involved, even if they can't make it!

This first post covers the first two meetings:

Topic: Meetings and gatherings, and other such events

It has been decided that the Virtual Artist Alliance will officially meet once a week in the Blekinge Sculpture Park owned by Rezago Kokorin. Sundays at 10am PST will be the usual time, but this occasionally may be subject to change. Everyone is welcome to hold unofficial meetings with one another at any time to discuss, debate, and plan things (if it's something you want to run by us, be sure to take notes and throw them my way!). If you have an idea for an event or want to help out with any of the current goings-on, feel free to ask- help is always appreciated!

Additionally, we're going to *try* to hold small-scale events once a month, and larger events and gatherings once every three months.

Topic: Identity

Our primary prerogative here in the VAA is to make the arts more accessible for the public, both in RL and SL. We're also establishing ourselves as a non-profit group who raises money for various charities (so far we're leaning towards arts-education). Finally, we're a social medium for virtual and digital artists and art enthusiasts to discuss, create, and promote art.

We currently have a logo in the works- it is extremely rough right now, but it's coming along very nicely- we should have a finished or nearly finished product by early January. It would be ready sooner, but with the holidays rolling around, i fully expect our members to concentrate on their first lives :)

Topic: Newsletter and Blog

You're looking at it... but it needs some pushing along, as you can see.

We're ALWAYS looking for writers on various topics... damn near ANY art related topic, in fact. We'd like to focus mainly on SL, but if you have some news in RL that just HAS to be read by the people, we'll put it in here, too :) If you've found an outstanding place in SL that you'd like to share but don't want to write about it, feel free to shoot it by the editor, Cyanide Seelowe (that's me) and I'll take a look at it. Yep... i just referred to myself in the first and third person simultaneously... your newsletter is in good hands :D

I can't stress enough how we would LOVE to have more writers for the blog... so if you're interested, contact Rezago Kokorin, and he'll invite you to contribute :D In terms of format, we're pretty loose in these parts... as long as you can write goodly, you're perfect for the job.

Topic: Upcoming Events

Oh boy oh boy! I'm excited about what we have cooking! XD All of the following events are in their planning stages, so if you have ideas or want to help out, just let us know!

Our first charity event will be a sculpture contest/silent auction. So far, we've decided that the event will be a week long, and the theme will be "snow and ice sculpture". The sculptors will create the pieces in front of wandering spectators who will have the opportunity to bid on the sculptures being created. Personally, i think the event has the potential to be a HUGE success... more updates to come!

The second event that we're planning is in conjunction with our sister group, the Feral Artists of Blekinge- the Feral Art Exchange. Here, people will have the opportunity to bring unfinished sculptures (or create the beginnings of news ones) and swap them with their fellow artists to see what we can come up with! This will be an excellent opportunity to meet sculptors from around SL and to be apart of a giant, living creative process! Details coming soon!



Cyanide Seelowe
Virtual Artist Alliance

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